Their History and Development

Model UA-800, 2-1/2-3 HP'

Mac Sine

Content Tools

Age (14-1/2) 9025 Phoebe Court Annandale, Virginia 22003

Author's Note: Before I begin I would like to thank the following people for the information they gave me:

Mr. Verne Kindschi
Mr. Russell Ginnow
(and most of all)
Mr. Nic Smokey

I would also like to point out that due to somewhat less than complete information, some dates may be wrong and I will be glad to hear from anyone who can correct me.

In the middle of the nineteenth century a group of citizens left Schleswig-Holstern in what was then Denmark and sailed for America. Unlike many immigrants, these people carefully selected the climate of northern Italy they chose a spot in the New World that had a corresponding latitude.

The wisdom of their selection proved sound except for the fact that, expecting a climate the same as that in Italy they built their homes with the south side open to the sun. That winter they suffered many hardships, but stayed on to form what is now New Holstein, Wisconsin.

Among the founders of New Holstein were the five Lauson brothers, who opened a small implement shop in 1879.

In 1868 John Lauson was born to Detlaff Lauson. When he was only 14 years old he joined the business with his uncles, after his father died. In 1884, at age 16, John, in full partnership with his uncle George and J. H. Openberg opened a new machine repair shop. The shop was destroyed by fire in 1885.

Immediately after the fire John Lauson and J. H. Openburg organized a new firm and built a new shop. The new firm specialized in the repair of steam traction engines. They also built boilers, tanks, smoke stacks, etc.

Shortly after the new firm began they also started to make complete steam traction engines. These were built and sold under the name 'Uncle Sam'; it is believed that only about 25 were built.

Around 1891 John Lauson bought out Mr. Openberg's interest in the company and at this time stopped the manufacture of steam tractors and went into production and repairs of steam boilers, varied sheet metal products, and repairs of heavy machinery.

About 1895 the firm became The John Lauson Mfg. Company. It was also at this time that John's brother Henry joined the company. Henry had been working for a gasoline engine builder in Chicago, and had some ideas on how to build gas engines. N. H. Edens was hired at this time and he was also interested in building gas engines. Soon plans for the first Lauson internal combustion engine were made. (Robert Hippe was also working for Lauson at this time and later, he moved to Chilton, Wisconsin and built Hippe-Steiner engines).

The first Lauson, built in 1895, weighed 1140 lbs. and was 4-cycle, plain cylinder (tank cooled) 4 HP, using hot tube ignition. A brass tube extending from the cylinder was heated by a torch and when the fuel entered the tube on the compression stroke the mixture was ignited by the heat of the tube.

This is a 1937 Model RAY-815, 1-1/2 HP owned by the author.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a side view of the RAY-815, showing the Lauson patented gear starter

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a 1965 Model LAV30-30-224C, 3 HP, owned by the author.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a side view of the LAV30-30224C -notice the special horizontal PTO shaft.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a Model 55S-111, made in the 40s or 50s. Air cleaner is not original, owned by the author.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a 3-1/2 HP, Model LAV35-40647K on my Father's Toro.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a 1958, 3 HP Model LAV30-1001 on my Toro.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a 3 HP, Model V30G-1-22P owned by the author and built in the late 50s or early 60s.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a 2-1/2 HP, Model WA-700, made in 1921 and owned by the author, oiler is not the original.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a Model UA-800, 2-1/2-3 HP, owned by Mr. Gene Orndorff.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is a 2 HP, Model W-705, made after 1927 and it is owned by Mr. Karl Rammling.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

This is an 8 HP, Type F, size CD, owned by Mr. Verne Kindschi, built between 1913 and 1916? That is Mr. Kindschi's son in the picture

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

The first engine castings were purchased from outside suppliers and work progressed slowly. When the engine was finally completed, all the plant workmen showed up for the starting ceremony. Henry Lauson was in charge. After the tube was heated, the engine was cycled and - it started! After adjusting the needle valve, Henry was able to get the engine up to its proper speed. The workers cheered, drowning out the exhaust sound. John Lauson yelled 'Belt her up,' and the men ran to connect the belts to the overhead line-shafts. Lauson was now in the engine business, using the first product to power the tools for making more.

After trying many various designs of engines the company went into production of a horizontal engine with electric ignition and an 8 inch bore and 10 inch stroke. After this all Lauson engines were built in the horizontal, 4 cycle, water-cooled style.

In the fall of 1904 the Lauson Company built the first hopper cooled engine. (This fact is supported by 8 old Lauson catalogs that I own). These engines were known as the Frost King and one of these, a five horsepower, met with such success that the other sizes were immediately added to form a complete line of Frost King engines.

By 1907 the demand for Lauson engines was so great that a larger factory was necessary. The city of Plymouth, Wisconsin, made every effort to get the company to locate there, even offering them a 5 year, tax-free location. However the people of New Holstein would not stand around and let 'Their Factory' move out of town. They subscribed to all available preferred stock and A. A. Laun, Sr. presented land to the company on which a new factory was built in 1908. The new building was 100 feet wide and 300 feet long, and was then the last word in modern factory design and equipment.

Up to 1913 all Lauson engine castings had to be purchased out of town. In 1913 a group of local businessmen decided that the foundry business should be brought to New Holstein. The Lauson brothers and A. A. Laun, Sr. brought Edwand Alyward, an expert foundryman to New Holstein. They formed the Alyward Foundry Company and immediately built a new factory on land north of the Lauson factory. It was in full production within the year, making all Lauson castings as well as castings for other companies. In 1915 the foundry was purchased by the John Lauson Mfg. Co.

Around 1911 Lauson began building four cycle, four cylinder heavy duty kerosene/distillate engines. These engines were built in 35, 50, 60, 80, and 100 HP sizes and had been primarily designed to drive electrical machinery in the Lauson plant. These engines would run on kerosene, power distillate, gasoline or any fuel having a specific gravity of thirty-five degrees Baume scale and a flash point of 170 degrees F. The wearing parts of these engines were steel and semi-steel and ground to size. These engines had a throttling governor, separately removable heads, a separate carburetor for each cylinder and make-and-break ignition. The ignition system of these models shown in the 1916 catalog consisted of a Sumpter gear driven magneto, and a 'bus bar' to take current to the ignitors. The 'bus bar' was an insulated brass bar mounted directly over each ignitor and receiving current from the magneto. The ignitors were provided with a spring touching the bar, doing away with wiring connections. The flywheel diameter of these engines was three feet and engine speed was 450 RPM for the 35, 50, and 60 HP, and 300 RPM for the 80 and  100 HP.

Engines shown in catalog 14 of 1912

Pictured is a 1925 Huber Super Four, 1940 Massey Ferguson Plow. Used for plowing in 1967.

Courtesy of E. J. Hafer, 10000 Wildcat Pike, La Rue, Ohio, 43332

Pictured is a 1910 York, bought in March of 1911. It is the oldest tractor in Ohio. It is a 2-4 horsepower and the number is 1787. Sawing slabs at Tri-State Show, Portland, Indiana 1973.

Courtesy of E. J. Hafer, 10000 Wildcat Pike, La Rue, Ohio, 43332

As shown in the 1912 catalog, the engine line was pretty complete. All engines were gasoline, hit and miss, and built in sizes of 1, 2-1/2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 25 HP. All sizes could be had as stationary or semi-portable, and 2-1/2-25 HP could also be had as portable. The 2-1/2, 4, and 5 HP engines could also be furnished on a high wheel hand truck and the 1, 2-1/2, 4, and 5 HP engines could also be furnished with a low wheel hand truck.

Cooling was furnished in three styles: hopper, tank, and screen cooler. Screen cooling could be furnished on portable engines of 4 to 25 HP. Tank cooling was for the larger stationary engines, and in both cases a centrifugal water circulating pump was used.

Our 14 HP, S.N. 11741.

Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 9025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003

Standard ignition on all engines 2-1/2 HP and above was the make-and-break type. Jump spark ignition was standard on the 1 HP model but could be furnished on all engines. Batteries were standard, but when desired a friction drive magneto could be fitted.

Material used in the engines was the finest cast iron and steel. Wherever practical, hardened steel parts such as cams, rollers, pins, governor pawls and other small parts were used. Valves were made from nickel steel. Many drop-forged steel parts were also used, such as connecting rods and crankshafts. Many parts such as pistons, piston pins, crankshafts, connecting rods and cams were ground to size. Flywheels were balanced and counterweighted. These engines ran on gasoline or alcohol, or with special carburetor, gas.

Jigs and tenplets were used to insure that all parts were duplicates and engines were machined in lots of 50 to 100, or the same size at a time, then assembled, each separately by mechanics under the supervision of a foreman.

Also shown in catalog 14 was a two-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine of greater than 25 horsepower. These engines were plain cylinder, throttling governed, built to run on gasoline; natural, manufactured or producer gas. The crankshaft was double throw with the crank-pins set opposite. These engines were furnished with a compressor and air starting device and were built along the same lines as regular Lauson engines.

In late 1912 or early 1913 the gear driven rotary magneto was adopted as standard equipment on all Lauson engines, regardless of size.

As shown in a small folder printed about 1913, '14, or '15, the Lauson line consisted of engines of 1-1/2, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 22, and 28 HP, available in either portable, semi-portable or stationary types. Engines of 2, 3, and 4-1/2 HP could also be furnished on a low wheel hand truck.

Two types of stationary engines were shown in this catalog: the self-contained stationary, (which had a suction reed carburetor and gas tank in base) and the standard stationary (which had a fuel pump and no tank in base).

Cooling on stationary engines was either hopper or plain cylinder and plain cylinder engines of 8 HP or higher were furnished with a water pump. Cooling for other types of engines shown in the catalog was the hopper type.

Ignition on these engines was by rotary magneto and ignitor.

Unlike the engines in catalog 14, these engines were equipped with a speed changing screw, and also had a more complex carburetor.

Engines shown in catalog 18, of 1916

This is the first catalog I have that shows a line of kerosene engines. Horsepower ratings of kerosene engines was: 3-1/2, 4-1/2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 22, 28, 40, and 50. Horsepower rating of gasoline engines was: 1-1/2, 2-1/2, 3-1/2, 4-1/2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 22 and 28.

Kerosene engines were manufactured in both the plain cylinder and the Frost King (hopper cooled) type in the following styles: Plain cylinder stationary, 3-1/2 to 50 HP; Frost King stationary, 3-1/2 to 28 HP; Screen Cooled Portable, 3-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King Portable 3-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King Portable, 3-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King semi-portable, 3-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King on low wheel hand truck, 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 HP. Kerosene engines could also be fueled on Power Distillate, Motor Spirits and gasoline.


Courtesy of Mac Sine, age 14-1/2, 5025 Phoebe Court, Annandale, Virginia 22003

This picture is self explanatory; it is taken from the back of a 1920 [?] Lauson catalog.

Gasoline engines were also built in the plain cylinder and Frost King (hopper cooled) types, in the following styles: (Plain cylinder) Standard Stationary, 2-1/2 to 28 HP; (Plain cylinder) Self-Contained Stationary 2-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King Standard Stationary, 2-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King Self-Contained Stationary, 2-1/2 to 28 HP; (Plain Cylinder) Screen-cooled portable, 3-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King Standard Portable 3-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King Semi-Portable, 2-1/2 to 28 HP; Frost King on low wheel hand truck, 1-1/2 to 4-1/2 HP; Frost King Junior, 1-1/2 HP only. Gasoline engines could also be fueled on distillate, alcohol or, with a special carburetor gas.

Construction features of the couple flywheel engines shown in this catalog are as follows: Cylinder and Piston, Semi-steel, ground to size; Piston Rings, Semi-steel, ground to size; Crankshaft, open hearth steel, hammer forged, ground to size; Connecting rod, forged steel, adjustable to wear at each end; Valves, Nickel steel stem with cast iron head fused on and ground to size; Cams and Cam shaft, drop forged in one piece, case hardened and ground, completely enclosed and running in oil; timing gears, drop forged steel, machine cut; lubrication, drip lubricator on cylinder, special grease cups at mains and on rod; (Force feed lubrication could be furnished on any engine at small additional cost and was standard on 40 and 50 HP Kerosene); Governor, flyball type with speed changer, hit-and-miss for gasoline, throttling for kerosene; Ignition, Sumpter rotary magneto and ignitor; main bearings: cut a 45 degrees, lined with babbitt, adjustable to rear; Rod Bearings; Bronze at piston end, made of steel, case-hardened and ground to size; flywheels, balanced and counter weighted.

Also shown in the catalog is a line of special electric generating engines. These engines were built in the plain cylinder, stationary type in sizes from 2-1/2 to 50HP. They were constructed like any other Lauson except that they came standard with a throttling governor and extra-heavy flywheels.

The Lauson Heavy Duty Kerosene engines discussed earlier in the article are shown in this catalog also.

In 1916 Lauson had been in the tractor business for one year. Begun in 1915, Lauson tractors were the first tractors to have the engine mounted lengthwise on the chassis. They were also well built; in a 1915 National Tractor Pulling Contest, Lauson tractors won seventeen of the nineteen first place awards!

According to a 1918 or 1919 manual, Lauson tractors were built in two styles: a 15-30 Full Jewel Farm Tractor and a 15-30 Special Road Tractor.

During the 1920's, at various times, tractors were made in sizes of 15-25, 25-45, 20-35 and 20-40. The engines on the 25-45, 20-35, and 20-40, as shown in the catalog 29 were valve-in-head, four (20-35 and 20-40) and six (25-45) cylinder with cylinders cast in removable pairs.

The Lauson tractor line was dropped in the 1930s where the depression caused many farmers to default on their payments.

As listed in the 1918 or '19 manual, the engine line had changed again. Engines were built in the following styles: Stationary; 1-3/4 to 18 HP, gas, gasoline or kerosene, hopper or tank cooled; Portable; 1-3/4 to 18 HP, gas, gasoline or kerosene, hopper or screen cooled; semi-portable, 3 to 18 HP, gas, gasoline or kerosene, hopper or screen cooled; special electric, 3 to 18 HP, gas, gasoline or kerosene, hopper or tank cooled; special pumping engine, 1-3/4 HP, gasoline, hopper cooled. On engines running on gas, a special carburetor was fitted.

In 1920 (?) the 'W' series of engines was introduced. These engines were 4 cycle, valve-in-head, hopper cooled, hit-and-miss, balanced and counterweighted disc flywheels, open crankcase. There were three types of 'W' engines; W, 1-1/2 to 2 HP; 'WA', 2-1/2 HP and 'WB', 3-1/2 HP. Ignition on 'W' engines was originally by rotary magneto and ignitor but by 1921 it had been changed to a Wico EK magneto and spark plug.

Engines shown in the 1920 (?) catalog: In addition to the line of 'W' engines, engines were built in sizes of 6,8,12,14 and 18 HP and were built along the same lines as engines in catalog 18. These spoke-flywheel engines were available in the following styles; Hopper cooled Semi-Portable; Hopper cooled self-contained stationary; Plain cylinder self-contained stationary; Plain cylinder standard stationary; and Hopper cooled standard stationary and team portable engines.

The spoke flywheel engines could be furnished for operation on gasoline, gas or kerosene and could also be fitted with a force-feed oiler.

Although these engines were essentially the same as the ones shown in catalog 18, the kerosene engines had a redesigned carburetor.

Plain cylinder special electric engines were also available in both the standard and self-contained types in sizes of 6,8,12,14 and 18 HP.

Shown here is a 2 H.P. Miller after it was restored in 1910. Pictured in the photo is Kenneth F. Johnson II. Picture taken in 1970. The engine was made by Geo. B. Miller and Sons, Waterloo, Iowa. It has an ignitor and mag and a hit and miss governor. I have never seen another Miller Product engine. Would enjoy hearing from anyone that has one. I also have restored a 3/4 HP Maytag. I had them both at the Rough & Tumble Show in 1970.

Courtesy of Kenneth Johnson, Rt. 1, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, 19508.

There were nine 'W' engine models available: W, WA, and WB 700, semi portable; W, WA and WB 705, hand truck portables; WA and WB 600, self contained stationary; WB 600 plain cylinder self contained stationary.

All 'W' engines could be furnished for operation on kerosene or natural gas or with battery ignition, if desired.

Engines as shown in the 1927 (?) catalog: Spoke-flywheel engines shown in this catalog are the same as those shown in the 1920 (?) catalog except for the ignition system on the 6 and 8 HP sizes. On the 6 and 8 HP sizes ignition was by WICO EK magneto and spark plug instead of make-and break. Special electric engines were also the same.

'W' engines had changed in several places: a hinged splash shield had replaced the bolted-on type, timing gears were now helical cut and on WA and WB the spark plug had been moved to the head.

'W' engines were offered in models W, WA, and WB 700, W, WA, and WB 705 and W, WA, and WB 600.

In addition to the regular line of engines a 35 HP and a 45 HP power unit were shown.

The engines of the power units were 4 cylinder, 4 cycle, valve-in-head. Engine speed was controlled by a TACO throttling governor, lubrication was by pump and splash, ignition was by high tension rotary magneto and cooling was by rotary water pump and radiator. A TACO syphon air filter was also standard.

A clutch was provided, as was a 10' diam. belt pulley running at 1100 RPM.

In or around 1924 the method of cylinder proportion was changed to the Hutto method; until then all cylinders had been ground to size.

Engines shown in catalog A, of 1932 (?)

This is the first catalog I have to show air cooled engines, production of which had probably begun around then. These air cooled engines were similar to the ones of today in that they were horizontal crankshaft, vertical cylinder, L or I head.

Two models of washing machine engines were offered: RAB-614: 1/2 HP, battery ignition, and RA-616: 1/2 HP, magneto ignition and suction feed carburetor. Lubrication on RA-616 was by bottle oiler, on RAB-614 oil was contained in the base.

Ten models of general purpose air cooled motors were offered in the following series: RAU; 3/4 HP in the following types: 700, Magneto, bottle oiler, suction feed carburetor, gas tank in base, Lauson gear starter or rope starter, No. 131 base; 719, same as above except for a No. 141 base; 718, same as above except for No. 129 base and breather; 800, magneto, bottle oiler, No. 131 base, float feed carburator, gas tank on engine, Lauson gear or rope starter; 818, same as above except for No. 129 base and breather; 815. I am not sure of specification on this unit; RAY, 1 HP in the following types: 800, magneto, No. 131 base, bottle oiler, float feed carburetor, gas tank on engine, Lauson gear or rope starter; 820, same as above except for No RA-418-A base and breather; 815, same as above except with oil pump; LA 815, 1-1/4-1-1/2 HP, magneto, No. LA-815 base, oil pump, float feed carburetor, gas tank on engine, Lauson gear or rope starter.

Construction details on the general purpose motors is as follows: Ignition, flywheel magneto; Governor, Flyball throttling type with speed control; Camshaft and Gear, machined from a solid bar and hardened; Crankshaft, Chrome nickel steel with integral balance weights; Piston, Lynite, pin is steel hardened and ground; Connecting Rod, Drop, forged Lynite; Valves, both mechanically operated; Lubrication, Splash (engines with breather), or vacuum (engines with bottle oiler). Air Cleaner was optional.

Ten other types of vertical (cylinder) engines were offered. They are as follows: VA-800, 1-1/2 - 2 HP, air cooled; VA-805, same as above except with aluminum casting; VA-815, same as above two, but with different base height. VA-816, same as 815 except with aluminum castings; UA-800, 2-1/2-3 HP, air cooled; UA 805, same as above except with aluminum casting; VA 900, 1-1/2-2 HP, radiator cooled; UR 900, 2-1/2-3 HP, radiator cooled; VR 915, 1-1/2-2 HP radiator cooled; UR 915 2-1/2-3 HP, radiator cooled.

Construction features of vertical motors are as follows: Connecting rod, interchangeable with Ford model T rod; Piston, grey iron; Governor, Flyball throttling type with speed control; Crankshaft, heat treated, drop forged with counter weights; Camshaft, one piece, drop forged, hardened and ground; Lubrication, pump and splash; Ignition, Wico type B rotary magneto, with retard; Valves, in head, both mechanical, covered; Air cleaners were optional.

The line of double flywheel engines was also retained at this time. Spoke flywheel engines were offered in both the 700 (semi-portable) and the 600 self contained stationary types. Plain cylinder engines could also be furnished in the 600 type. Spoke flywheel engines were shown in the following types: AC (6 HP), BO (8 HP) DB (12 HP) EE (14 HP) and FG (18 HP). Except for a small RPM change on the 14 and 18 HP models, these engines are the same as in the 1927 catalog. These engines could be furnished for kerosene or gas operation. All spoke flywheel engines could be fitted with force feed lubrication.

W, WA and WB engines were also essentially the same as shown in the 1927 catalog and were available in three types: 700 (semi-portable), 600 (self contained stationary), and 705 (hand truck portable).

W series engines could be furnished for operation on kerosene or gas or with battery ignition if desired.

In addition to the standard W line, a new W series engine had been introduced, the WG. The WG was available in two types (700 and 600) and resembled the other W engines. The WG developed 2 HP at 500 RPM and 3 HP at 800 RPM and had a closed crankcase, throttling governor (any fuel), breather and ignition by WICO EK magneto and spark plug. WG engines could also be furnished with a gas or kerosene carburetor.

Engines shown in catalog D of 1936.

All air cooled engines shown in this catalog are horizontal shaft, vertical cylinder and were made in the following models: RLA; RLB; 1/2-3/4 HP, suction carburetor, splash lubrication, flyball throttling governor, foot or rope starter, clockwise or counter clockwise rotation. RLB was furnished with a vertical pto.

RAY 815:9-1-1/2 HP, float feed carburetor, pump and splash lubrication, flyball throttling governor, foot pedal, hand lever, hand crank or rope starter, aluminum castings if desired. LB 815 2 HP, same as RAY 815: except a larger engine. Construction features of Ray and LB engines are the same as those for RAY and LA engines of catalog A. UAS 800: 2.8-4.3 HP.

Water cooled vertical cylinder, horizontal crankshaft engines were manufactured in six types: LF or LFR 2.25-2.75 HP; UW or UWR, 3.5-4.5 HP and ZW and ZWR, 4.75-5.6 HP.

Models LFR, UWR and ZWR were equipped with a radiator; the other three with water pump only and were otherwise similar in construction.

Construction features of models UAS, UW and ZW are the same (except ignition) as those for the vertical motors shown in catalog A. The ignition of these engines had been changed to a WICO LD magneto w/impulse.

Construction features of model LF are as follows: Head, nickel iron; Piston, Lynite; Cylinder, grey iron; Ignition, flywheel magneto; Valves, Chrome nickel steel; Lubrication, pump and splash.

Double flywheel engines were available in the 600 and 700 type and W, WA and WB were also available in the 705 type. Plain cylinder 600 type spoke flywheel engines were also available. A kerosene or gas carburetor was also available for all models.

Models AC, BC, DD, EE and FG are the same as those in catalog A except for changes in horsepower and speed. These models could also be furnished with force feed lubrication.

Models WA and WB are also the same as in catalog A except for speed and horsepower changes. Models W and WG did not change.

Engines shown in catalog F of 1938.

The basic vertical cylinder, horizontal crankshaft engine line consisted of the following models: RAY, LB, LFR, UAS and ZWR.

Two tiny Lauson Smoothflo engines were offered: RLC, 1/2-3/4 HP and RSC 3/4-1 HP. These engines were similar in construction to to models RLA and RLB.

Double flywheel engines were offered in the following models: W, WA, WB, and AC, in both the 600 and the 700 styles. These engines could be furnished to operate on kerosene and were essentially the same as those shown in catalog D.

At this point in the article it is interesting to note that in 1938 Lauson produced another 'first'. This 'first' was a 4 cycle, vertical crankshaft engine.

A McCormick-Deering horsepowered hay baler - picture taken 1930, five miles southeast of Balsom Lake, Wisconsin. George S. Thill on left, now deceased, of Luck, Wisconsin and Robert Erickson on right, from Balsom Lake, Wisconsin.

I now own this baler.

Courtesy of Morris Blomgren, Route 1, Siren, Wisconsin 54872

In June 1941 the Lauson Company was purchased by the Hart-Carter Company of Peoria, Illinois. Through its affiliation with Hart-Carter, Lauson was able to step up its production tempo and also improve manufacturing methods. It was probably at this time that production of double flywheel engines stopped.

During the war, Lauson went into production of lightweight aluminum engines. By substituting aluminum alloys for cast iron, the Army was spared the necessity of transporting millions of extra pounds to battle fronts all over the world.

To give improved performance on 100 octane gasoline, Lauson also went into production of engines equipped with Stellite faced valves and valve seats, and in 1942 the company set up its own Stellite facing department.

It was this kind of quality which earned The Lauson Company the Army Air Forces 'A Rating', which was given only to those companies whose methods of testing and inspecting eliminated the need for additional Army checking.

Engines shown in the 1946 (?) catalog.

Before engines are discussed it might be interesting to note some of the more interesting Lauson 'firsts' that are listed in this catalog; they are as follows: Lauson was the first to design and build the hopper cooled engine; Lauson was the first to build tractors with the engine mounted lengthwise in the frame; Lauson was the first to enclose tractor drive gears and pinions in an oil tight case: Lauson was the first to mix water and fuel in kerosene burning engines: Lauson was the first to build light-weight, air-cooled industrial engines with ball bearings at each end of the crankshaft; Lauson was the first to design and build the TACO governor used on Fordson tractors and industrial engines.

Engines were shown in the following air-cooled Models: RLC 1/2 - 3/4 HP, RSC 1-1/2 HP, TLC 2.3 HP, PAC 4 HP; two water-cooled models were also offered: RC 1-1-1/2 HP and LF 3.7 HP.

Construction features of these engines are as follows: Piston, heat treated aluminum alloy; cylinder, grey iron; connecting rod, PAC had drop forged steel, all other models have aluminum alloy; Crankshaft, drop forged steel; intake valve, steel; Exhaust valve, PAC-steel with stellite faced head, all other models are steel stem with authentic steel head.

Various models could be fitted with accessories such as stubshafts, high octane equipment, deep bases with low oil level shut off switch, spill proof features, rain proof features, gear reductions and other accessories. Vertical crankshaft models were also available although they are not shown.

In 1949 models TLH 3 HP and RSH 2 HP were introduced. These were horizontal crankshaft models.

Lauson also manufactured a line of 4 cycle air-cooled outboard motors between 1941 and 1956, which were known as the Sport King. In 1948 two completely new designs were offered, a single cylinder 3 HP model and a twin cylinder 6 HP model.

During the '30's and '40's Lauson also manufactured a line of 4 cycle, water cooled inboard marine engines. In 1949 four models were offered: PMM-827, 5 HP; PMM-826 3 HP; LF-848, 3.7 HP and RCM-826, 1-1/2 HP.

In December 1955, Lauson was purchased from Hart-Carter by Tecumseh Products Company of Tecumseh, Michigan.

In 1956 four new vertical crankshaft mower engines were added to the line and in that same year, the line was made up of the following models: V 17, 1.75 HP, V 20, 2 HP; V22, 2.75 HP; V 25, 2.5 HP; V 27, 2.75 HP; CH 17, 1.75 HP; CH 20, 2 HP; RSH 737, 2 HP; TLH 725, 3.3 HP; P 25, 6.3 HP. Models beginning with a 'V' are vertical shaft.

In 1957 Tecumseh purchased the Power Products (2 cycle) engine facility in Grafton, Wisconsin and in that same year combined the parts and service facilities of both Lauson and Power Products to form the Lauson-Power Products Parts Depot Division with offices and warehouse in Grafton.

Over the years, Tecumseh has added, dropped or changed engine models to keep the Lauson one of the most modern 4 cycle, air cooled engines in the world.

The Lauson line today is very complete and consists of the following models: Lawnmower, Aluminum, vertical shaft; LAV30RM, 3 HP; LAV35RM, 3.5 HP; LAV40 RM, 4.0 HP; Aluminum, Vertical Shaft; LAV301A, 3 HP; LAV351 A, 3.5 HP; LAV401A, 4 HP; LAV501A, 5 HP; V60, 6 HP; VM70, 7 HP; VM80, 8 HP; Cast Iron, Vertical Shaft, VH50 5 HP; VH60, 6 HP; VH70, 7 HP; VH80, 8 HP; VH100, 10 HP; Lawnmower, Aluminum, horizontal shaft: H25, 2.5 HP; H30, 3 HP; H35, 3.5 HP; H40, 4 HP; H550, 5 HP; H60, 6 HP; HM70, 7 HP; HM80, 8 HP; Cast Iron, horizontal shaft: HH50, 5 HP; HH60, 6 HP; HH70, 7 HP; HH80, 8 HP; HH100, 10 HP; HH120, 12HP; HH140, 14HP; valve-in-head; HH150, Valve-in-head; HH160, 16 HP, valve-in-head.

Some Lauson engines are identified by cubic inch displacement instead of horsepower: ECH90, ECV100, TNT100, ECV105, ECV-110, ECV120, ECH120 and TNT 120.

An old but beautiful 1929 Plymouth owned by Art Clapper, with Barney Ketck seated on the running board, at the Adams County Apple Festival, Arandtsville, Pennsylvania 1974.

Courtesy of William E. Hall, 15700 Santini Road, Burtonsville Maryland 20730

Lauson also has a line of snow blower engines which are winterized standard aluminum engines and a line of mini-bike engines which are standard aluminum engines set-up for mini-bike use. Lauson engines can also still be equipped to burn kerosene or L/P gas.

Today, all Lauson engines are still made in New Holstein, Wisconsin and are usually sold under the Tecumseh name, although the Lauson name does appear in the Tecumseh trademark and usually on each engine.

Footnote: Over the years, Lauson engines have been sold or used by many companies.

In the early years, 'W' model engines were sold by the DeLaval Dairy Supply Company and the Lansing Company.

Engines sold by DeLaval were sold under the Alpha name; many spoke-flywheel Lauson models were also sold as Alpha.

Two of the best known companies that use Lauson today are Sears, Robuck, and Toro.

Lauson models sold by Sears are sold under the Craftsman name.

3/6/2011 4:06:27 PM

I have an old what looks like a possible lawn thatcher or possible garden tiller. Numbers on motor are type RSH 808-9 no. 510886. i have no idea what year it is or what exactly it is. can someone please help. thank you

nic smokey
1/10/2011 2:51:14 PM

Thirty six years ago the author of the article, Mac Sine, and I talked about Lauson Engines. A few days ago my son George Dana Smokey typed in my name on Google. What came up was Mac's article who thoughtfully gave my name as a contributor to his info on Lauson's history. Amazing how meetings happen in person and years later by internet? I hope Mr. Mac Sine is enjoying life and continuing his hobby of gasoline engines and his writing skills. Nic Smokey

steve smith
11/6/2010 9:51:27 PM

An elderly friend just closed his small engine shop. He has a new "old stock" Lauson engine that was used by the Navy to power a "Fog Generator". The info on the data tag only refers to the Type-- RSC 611, and the Number 5-19396. It has a sealed spark plug cable, and apparently is preserved and complete. I'm trying to find out the horsepower of the engine, rpm, etc., and if it is a commercial model used by the Navy, or a specialty built. Also, any contacts to collector's clubs would be appreciated. Thanks, Steve Smith